On Monday, November 30 2015, a day on which the sun set at 4:49pm, a handful of volunteers from local community groups were distributing free sets of bike lights to riders. Monument Impact and Bike East Bay joined forces with Bike Concord, helping to buy and distribute bike lights to riders without any.
Bicycling at night can be dangerous – especially without good lights. In Concord, where bike shops are few and far between, many people ride without a light. The event, called Operación Luz, was the first of its kind in Concord and specifically aimed to help low-income community members who ride out of necessity.
Monument Impact, Bike East Bay and Bike Concord are all part of the HEAL zone initiative (Healthy Eating, Active Living) designed to help people in under-served communities make healthy choices.
Two dozen bicyclists and curious community members stopped by to talk to us. In addition to giving lights to those who needed them, we also spread the word about the brand new bike lanes coming to Detroit Ave this winter. Construction on the city of Concord’s first ever green bike lanes are set to be completed early 2016.
As we wrapped up at 7pm, we still had a couple dozen more lights. We will be distributing them come 2016 at future education and community events!
Bike Concord has composed a letter to the City of Concord urging the adoption of policies that will guide our city to a bikeable, walkable future. The time to call for these policies is now, as the ongoing Master Plan process offers an unusual chance to get them adopted.
Please sign Bike Concord’s letter to the City, and support a safer, healthier Concord. We’ll be submitting the letter to the City on July 24 at the latest, so please share the online petition with family and friends and help us gather a lot of names.
We’ll also have paper copies of the letter at Bike Tent each Thursday, and will be collecting signatures in person there.
Everyone who signs will have their name included on the paper copy to the City, unless they tell us otherwise. We would appreciate being able to include your name; every additional name strengthens the signal to the City that our community wants to be safe bicycling and walking anywhere in Concord. But if you would prefer to be omitted from the paper letter, please leave a comment here and we will be sure to honor your wishes.
In addition to individual support, we’re grateful to the following local organizations for putting their names on the letter.
In public discussions of the Master Plan, one topic which has come up and will come up again is the choice between making our arterial streets safe for bicycle traffic (e.g. Monument Blvd, Concord Ave, and Oak Grove Rd), vs. leaving those streets unchanged and instead trying to route bicyclists through residential side streets using signage.
Depending on one’s priorities, either approach may seem like the better one. Reasons for the side streets approach include:
It will involve much less immediate inconvenience for motorists.
It can be done much more quickly.
It will cost much less time and money for the City.
If these factors are a higher priority than those below, then the side streets approach makes sense.
However, there are reasons for the arterial approach which, in Bike Concord’s view, are compelling if the City’s priorities are to encourage the choice of bicycle transportation and to make it safe. A premise of the Master Plan is that they are.